A little self-care from Baa Stool
It’s easy to see that the various lockdowns of 2020 have had a detrimental effect on many of us. Let’s face it, we’re not used to being isolated and alone; it’s just not natural. Humans are meant to be sociable animals. Now, as a direct result of the global pandemic, mental health problems are spiralling out of control.
In September of this year, Women’s Health Magazine asked their readers if they felt their mental health had deteriorated. Out of the 2,500 responses they received, 70% said that their mental health had suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Worse still, a whopping 85% of the respondents were worried about the long-term effect of the lockdown on their mental health.
And, of course, it’s not just women who are affected; men and children are suffering too. I read recently that the male suicide rate is the worst it’s been for 20 years! And in the recent lockdown, in Scotland alone, Childline received almost 2,500 calls from children and young people who were struggling with their mental health. It’s truly shocking.
Well, the NHS offers ten tips for tackling stress and anxiety. Although these tips were written without a worldwide pandemic in mind, they’re still relevant today:
- Exercise when you can; it helps us to clear our minds and feel better
- Don’t ignore problems; try to take control of situations and find solutions if you can
- Connect with people – even if it’s on the phone or online via Skype or Zoom
- Make time for relaxation and self-care; everyone needs some ‘me time’
- Set yourself a new goal – perhaps you want to learn a language online or try cooking a new recipe or take up a hobby/craft
- Try not to drink too much alcohol or smoke too many cigarettes to ease your stress and anxiety; be as healthy as you can
- Think about what you can do to help others as this will take the focus off yourself – even if it’s phoning a friend to see how they’re coping or checking on an elderly neighbour
- Learn to prioritise tasks so that things don’t build up and get on top of you; make a list of the things you need to do
- At the end of each day, write down three things that you’re grateful for – even if they’re small things like a pretty sunset or a friendly smile
- Of course, some things we just can’t control, so we need to recognise this; only worry about the things you can do something about
You can read more about these NHS tips here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/reduce-stress/